From left, Jared Olson, Ashleigh Daigle, Madeline Dell and Cailyn Cave, make up the team at Skinny’s on 48th and are excited to celebrate their one-year anniversary this Saturday. TAYLOR WEAVER LLS PHOTO
March 3 is a date that means different things to different people, maybe even a meaningful tattoo.
For example, Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of the telephone, was born on this day in 1847.
Dr. Sir Frederick Grant Banting and his research team based in Toronto Ont. announced the discovery of insulin in Washington in 1922.
But on a more local level, March 3 marks the one-year anniversary of the grand opening of Skinny’s Tattoo on 48th.
With two artists on the roster and an up-and-coming apprentice, Skinny’s has been happily serving the community over the past year for all of their tattooing needs.
Standing at over six feet tall, with a beard and tattoos covering the majority of his body, shop owner Jared Olson, who has been a tattoo artist for eight years and might come across as a bit intimidating until he starts cracking jokes with you, is one of the most humble guys you’ll ever meet.
“The past year has really been a blur. It’s been so busy and the community has been so welcoming, and we’ve had a lot going on. We participated in Streetfest and we hosted the young professionals here, so we’ve had a couple of great events.” he said.
“The clientele in Lloyd is awesome. They’re diverse … lots of soccer moms, lots of oil guys, lots of professionals and lots of youth.”
Roughly 16 months ago Olson and his wife Natalie had the option to move to Chicago for a job opportunity, which ended up falling through at the last minute, and after putting all of their ducks in a row over the Christmas break, they decided to open their own tattoo shop in the Border City.
“We found this location the third week of January and took it over, renovated the whole place, and opened on March 3.”
Skinny’s other artist, Cailyn Cave, has been tattooing for close to a decade, and was inadvertently hooked up at the shop after a friend of hers was a guest artist for Olson.
“The thing I will say about this shop that I think makes it unique is a lot of our clients already have tattoos and it’s a family thing, so in that sense it’s not all about sticking to one artist,” said Cave.
“There’s a lot of collaboration here, so we’ve both worked on the same client.”
The new business was also the recipient of the Lloydminster Chamber of Commerce Customer Service of the Year award, which is an award voted on by the public and awarded to a business which provides excellent customer service on a consistent basis, something Cave noted was “amazing because it’s almost unheard of for a tattoo shop to win an award.”
Olson added it was an honour to receive the award, and was incredible because they didn’t expect to win.
“It was nice to rub shoulders with other local business owners and professionals in town. We’re working hard to break the mould. To break that stigma that all tattoo shops are associated with,” he said. “I think the biggest stigmas around tattoo shops are they’re all dark, scary, associated with bikers, and definitely shady.
“We wanted this place to be different from any other shop. Even from how it looks in here, so when you walk in it’s warm and it’s inviting. Each person who is here is here for a very specific reason. Our demography is regular people, and we want everyone to feel welcome coming in here. It just goes with the experience.”
For those who have never been tattooed, Olson described the relationship between the client and the artist as intimate.
“You’re sitting in here a minimum of an hour, so you’re here hanging out with someone and it’s a hands-on experience, you’re touching them, you’re hurting them, you’re telling jokes, and you’re going through it with them, trying to make it the best experience possible and provide the best of quality work you can,” said Olson.
Cave added you can’t help but bond over the experience, and how it’s always an honour to tattoo a client.
“To think this person wants to wear my art on their body for the rest of their life means the world to us, and you can’t beat that.”
Skinny’s is located at 5009 48 Street in downtown Lloydminster and more information can be found at skinnystattoo.com.